Archive for March, 2009

BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE AND VCET LAUNCH EMERGENT LEADERS COLLABORATION

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Monday, March 16th, 2009

Vermont Business Roundtable President Lisa Ventriss and Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies President David Bradbury have announced a new collaborative effort to strengthen the entrepreneurial vigor among next-generation Vermont business leaders. This announcement coincides with the kick-off of the Roundtable’s new Emergent Leaders Group, which is scheduled for April 7. (more…)

Op-Ed: Will You Have Carbon with Your Higher Cost?

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Friday, March 13th, 2009

An Op-Ed by Lisa Ventriss, President, Vermont Business Roundtable

For a few years now, Vermonters have said that we prefer to invest in renewable energy, efficiency programs, a reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions, and stably priced reliable power. But despite those opinions, and with our biggest source of clean, reliable, and affordable electricity – Vermont Yankee – having, according to some experts, only a 50/50 chance of being relicensed this year, we can see that the previous era of having the lowest electric rates in New England and cleanest air in the country is coming to a close. (more…)

Op-Ed: Dangerous Trends Require Action

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Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

Op – Ed by David Coates, KPMG (Retired Managing Partner) and Member, Vermont Business Roundtable

Rising mandatory expenditures in the state of Vermont mean that there are less discretionary dollars to support important programs to serve needy Vermonters. And in these difficult economic times, that is unfortunate news indeed. Yet, these “promises” made to certain constituencies must be kept. At issue, however, between debt service, retirement plans for state employees and teachers, and other post-employment benefits, is that those promises have become unsustainable. It is time to recognize the nature and severity of the problem and begin talking about how to change from the path we’re on.

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The Good and the Possible

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Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

The Good and/or the Possible. That’s the nature of the choices lawmakers, businesses, and private residents are faced with these days. Good isn’t always possible; possible isn’t always good. You’re lucky if you kill two birds with one stone.

 

So, when lawmakers reconvene the week of March 16th, they will have roughly eight weeks, if the proposed May 8th adjournment date holds up, to craft the new budget and allocate stimulus monies. And new revenue forecasts will come out in April, which will add another level of complexity to the process.

 

This is not the time for stimulus monies to further delay the necessary decisions that must be made around the size and scope of state government, though convincing people will be hard. Seven hundred million dollars is intoxicating to think of, so one can’t help but feel that the demon has been held at bay for a little bit. But we’ll hate ourselves in the morning if we go out on a bender and then wake up in two years to find we’re not better off.

VPR’s Vermont Edition: Vermont In Transition: Job Growth (Featuring Roundtable President Lisa Ventriss & Policy Analyst Doug Hoffer)

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Monday, March 9th, 2009

Even before the current recession hit, job growth in Vermont had slowed – and much of the existing growth was concentrated in Chittenden County. (more…)